Embassy Information Officer Visits Pietro Bonilli Health Center in Odienné
March 12-14, 2012
On March 12 through 14, 2012, Embassy Information Officer Grant Phillipp and Protocol Assistant Blandine Gabo and Information Specialist Folli Teko visited Odienne in Northwestern Cote d’Ivoire. The visit was part of the Embassy’s “Adopt a Town” program which encourages Embassy staff to reach out to the people of Cote d’Ivoire living in remote areas of the country.
During their visit, Mr. Phillipp and Ms. Gabo met with government officials, including Prefect Kayaha Jerome, First Deputy Mayor Amidou Kourouma, and Regional Director of Education Lassana Diomandé; representatives of civil society and journalists.
Mr. Phillipp and Ms. Gabo also visited the Save the Children (STC) office and the Pietro Bonilli Health Center, both of which receive support from the US President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest donor to the Ivoirian fight against HIV/AIDS. Save the Children has been receiving funds from PEPFAR since 2008 to provide services to children affected by HIV/AIDS, both to children who have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and those who have been orphaned or abandoned. According to Save the Children Office Director Minata Coulibaly, STC is one of the few NGOs still active in Odienné.
The Pietro Bonilli Health Center also receives support from the PEPFAR-funded Ivoirian NGO, ACONDA. ACONDA is helping lead the nationwide fight against HIV/AIDS by supporting health sites with a comprehensive, family-centered approach that offers a continuum of services including counseling and testing (CT), prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), and antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the clinic, and home-based medical and psychosocial care in the community.